Cutting the number of deaths and serious injuries in the West Country’s farming industry will be a key focus for Cornish Mutual in supporting European Health and Safety Week later this month (October 24-28).
The rural insurance firm, which has members across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, is highlighting figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which show that agriculture is the #1 sector for fatalities and major injuries.
In 2009/10 there were four deaths in the industry in Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset, as well as 72 major injuries and 113 non-fatal injuries in the south west region alone.
The most common causes include being run over, vehicle overturning, falling from height, hit by moving or falling objects, drowning or asphyxiation, contact with machinery or livestock, being trapped by something or contact with electricity.
Cornish Mutual is launching a year-long initiative during European Health and Safety Week to raise awareness of the issues amongst farmers and landowners.
MD Alan Goddard said: “Given that agriculture is the lifeblood of our regional economy, health and safety is a real issue for farmers and landowners and should be high up on their agenda.”
Dave Shepherd, health and safety advisor with Safety Cornwall Limited, added: “Everyone has a responsibility for good health and safety practice and I would urge people to take it seriously.”